Edmonton rejects Oiler [Arena] bid for more taxpayer dollars
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09-18-2012, 09:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Originally Posted by
This perception is quite wrong, and could ultimately lead to the Oilers leaving Edmonton. It is this type of thinking that is rotting Edmonton to the core.
Many people say "oh, it's not possible we pay high ticket prices, we're great fans, etc" unfortunately after living there for 10 years the reality of the economic situation goes far beyond the arena and stems right back to the decisions in the late 80's that caused that city to stagnate for 20 years while a more progressive city like Calgary reaped the rewards.
The feasibility of the Oilers moving forward almost 100% depends on the arena being built. The Northlands Coliseum was built to sustain an 80's NHL market that is nowhere near as large as it is now. With 16K seats and almost zero residual amenities such as a restaurant, bars, shops, etc it is a relic. It is absolutely correct for Katz to say that the Oilers need a new arena to remain viable.
Most people think, "Blah blah revenues, blah blah fan support" but don't have a clue about the economic status of the Oilers who by all accounts are losing money on a yearly basis. Maybe if the cap remained at $39-45M we could state yeah, it's feasible, but unfortunately it looks like the $60M cap and 50-odd some floor are here to stay. The NHL is becoming bigger and generating more revenue than ever. This has the effect of leaving "smaller market" teams like the Oilers behind because they are only "small market" because they are only able to stuff 16K fans a night in and get zero cake revenue from what a new arena like Katz is proposing would give.
The entire premise of the new arena is based on ensuring the viability of the Oilers first and foremost going into the future and that is one that Rexall is not able to sustain. The Oilers and the league have outgrown it. In this small market town where ticket sales won't necessarily bring in the bread and butter, there needs to be a huge development project such as the one Katz is proposing to see the Oilers through the next 20 years.
Otherwise, the Oilers will continue to lose money more and more each year while having record high ticket prices. How many road blocks will Katz have to face until he says, "screw this!" and sells the team? I think Edmonton has run out of Batman-esque billionaires willing to do this much for the Oilers and if Katz bails, the new owners will most definitely not be willing to invest in Edmonton and most likely move the team to a new market with a new arena begging for an NHL team. It's definitely not outside the realm of possibility that the Oilers move, and in fact is a very real threat. Anyone can remember how close we were to losing them the last time and it came down to the 11th hour literally.
Edmonton is a city who are unwilling to see the big picture and instead focus on these stupid debates about a million here or a million there. The city will have to decide once and for all (And probably very soon) if the Oilers are something they are willing to invest in as a whole because they ain't stayin in Rexall past 2014 I can tell ya that much.
you failed to explain why edmonton has to pay for the arena. Yes, the oilers need a new arena. Everyone agrees with that. Why should the people pay for it though? Every other NHL arena in the country is privately built (except calgary - olympics)
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